Cover photo for Mildred "Millie" Orenstein's Obituary
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Mildred "Millie" Orenstein

January 3, 1936 — June 9, 2024

Penn Valley, Pennsylvania

Mildred "Millie" Orenstein

(nee Birk) died on June 9th, after a short illness. She was the beloved wife to the late Irving Orenstein, loving mother to daughters Carol, Janet, Susan, and Ellen, along with her sons-in-law Scott and Brooks, a cherished sister to the late David (Dodie) and the late Jerry, and devoted grandmother to Alex (and his wife Samantha), Eli, and Oliver. Millie, as she was known to family and friends, was a gifted teacher and educator with a sharp and inquisitive mind and an intense passion for learning. 

She loved art and spent more than twenty years as a guide at the Philadelphia Art Museum, where her tours were known for their insight and popularity. “I’m so happy it’s you,” she was known to exclaim when a friend or family member would call, always eager to hear their latest news or dive into a lively discussion. For her, nothing came before family – she would jump to lend support however it was needed, and as one of her daughters put it, she was unfailingly in their corner. 

Millie was born in Philadelphia on January 3rd, 1936, to Harry and Lottie Birk, immigrants from Europe who ran a bakery for many years. She was the protected youngest child and only daughter, who grew up loving Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and playing folk guitar with her long, black braid falling down her back. She met Irv, as a student at Temple University in a poetry class, and the two of them spent more than fifty years together, engaged in a long-running conversation and sharing a never-ending interest in the lives of their children and grandchildren. Even while raising four daughters, Millie worked full-time and eventually led the Writing Center at Drexel University, a post she held for decades. She provided extra care and support to faculty and students - she was the one whose door was always open. In her later years, Millie encouraged Irv to enjoy his retirement (though she was the manager of their social calendar), and the two of them spent time with friends, playing bridge, going to museums, and visiting children and grandchildren. They both had a great sense of humor – Millie never took herself too seriously and could fall into fits of laughter over anything from a strange looking shirt at Nordstrom Rack to a funny scene in a movie. She also had an appreciation for the ironies of life and understood that the ups and downs gave it more texture and meaning. She knew the most intricate details of a painting hanging in the museum, could quote from famous works of literature, and still fully enjoy the rom coms of Jennifer Lopez. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten. 

Relatives and friends are invited to Funeral Services, Thursday, 11:30 AM precisely at Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Funeral Directors, Inc. Suburban North Chapel, 310 2nd St. Pike, Southampton, PA. Int. Montefiore Cem. Shiva will be observed at the home of Carol and Scott, Thursday following interment with Minyan at 7 PM and on Saturday after 4 PM with minyan at 7 PM. Contributions in her memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20092.

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Today's Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Goldsteins Rosenberg's Funeral Directors Suburban North

310 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966

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Interment

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Starts at 1:15 pm (Eastern time)

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